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More About Today’s Stadium Vote

October 7, 2010 Leave a comment

From The Wall St. Journal:

Forest Hills Tennis Stadium to Vote on Condo Plan

The fate of the famous tennis stadium in Forest Hills will be decided Thursday night, when members of the West Side Tennis Club are set to vote on selling the former site of the U.S. Open to a real estate developer.

Club Votes on Sale of Tennis Stadium Today

October 7, 2010 Leave a comment

I am re-posting this information from the Rego-Forest Preservation Council blog:

To WSTC: Vote Down Condo Plans For Tennis Stadium On 10/7 & Support Creative Reuse For The Greater Community 

Please forward this posting to your friends, family, and WSTC members… A vote at the West Side Tennis Club is slated for October 7, 2010, and requires 2/3 approval of 291 voting-eligible members, in order to sell the iconic Forest Hills Tennis Stadium to Cord Meyer Development for typical condos, which would entail demolition, the loss of an icon, and out-of-context construction that only 75 condo owners would benefit from.

Before any members vote, please consider its firsts in tennis, music, and architectural history, and how a revitalized mixed-use stadium could revitalize our community and city’s quality of life and economic conditions. If Cord Meyer demolished any part of it for condos (which can be built elsewhere), it would be equivalent to wiping an internationally-recognized site and “Forest Hills” off the map.

As a WSTC member, YOU should VOTE NO on October 7th, and act on behalf of the greater public. Think twice!

Forest Hills Patch article:
http://foresthills.patch.com/articles/vote-on-tennis-stadium-locked-in-for-oct-7

Regardless of the outcome of the closed-door vote at the WSTC on 10/7, the greater community can still have a fair say and help save a “landmark at heart” by composing a letter in support of Landmark status, and requesting a most democratic public hearing at the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission. Please take a few moments to do your part by visiting:

http://regoforestpreservation.blogspot.com/2010/07/save-forest-hills-tennis-stadium.html

The Forest Hills Tennis Stadium merits City & State Landmark status, which would commemorate its history and recognize its prestige. It would open the door towards federal, state, city, and independent non-profit organizational funding opportunities for a sensible restoration, be a catalyst for a mixed-use creative revitalization, which may feature tennis matches, concerts, weddings, exhibits, school trips, charity events, music and art festivals, etc. It would abide with its original yet proven mission as “America’s Tennis Stadium” according to a 1922 ad.

Preservation and creative reuse would yield a greater economic return in the long-run, and accomplish the following:

1. Bring our community closer together
2. Boost tourism
3. Convey historic pride & educate our children
4. Help our local businesses through tough economic times & be an incentive for newer businesses i.e. on the Austin St corridor.

Condos are a short-sighted, temporary, least imaginative solution towards settling a debt, but history is forever. Let’s realize the larger picture, referring to future generations, the tennis and music greats, and an architectural first countrywide by famed architect Kenneth Murchison. Typical condos represent “Anytown USA,” but this is a landmark opportunity for something truly unique for ALL. Demolition of an icon for condos = The Penn Station case of Queens!

Typical condos would accomplish the following:

1. Cater to a relatively select few condo owners (75 units = 200 new residents), rather than being a 21st century family destination.
2. The burdening of our infrastructure
3. Overcrowding of schools
4. If the majority is demolished for a typical condo under Cord Meyer’s current proposal, it would pave the way for more demolitions of historic sites in the Forest Hills  Gardens, which is bounded by Restrictive Covenants, which supposed to safeguard historic sites and consequently bars such demolition.
5. Adversely affect property values within the Forest Hills Gardens, and the adjacent Van Court section, for example.
6. The soul of an icon would be eliminated, and the bulk of current and future generations would have regrets that we lost an internationally-recognized icon that could have been preserved and creatively reused, which Forest Hills is so fortunate to have. It would leave a scar upon our community, and upon the countless supporters abound, in the name of architectural and cultural history.

Photos

1. Rego-Forest Preservation Council Photoset featuring Stadium, Clubhouse, Memorabilia –
http://www.flickr.com/photos/8095451@N08/sets/72157607136282297/

2. Forest Hills Tennis Stadium: Gallery 1 featuring Joe Shlabotnik/Peter Dutton’s photos –
http://www.flickr.com/photos/8095451@N08/galleries/72157624960334088

3. Forest Hills Tennis Stadium: Gallery 2 featuring Joe Shlabotnik/Peter Dutton’s photos –
http://www.flickr.com/photos/8095451@N08/galleries/72157624960580042/

Bookmark-worthy blogs for stadium campaign updates:

1. Rego-Forest Preservation Council:
http://regoforestpreservation.blogspot.com
2. The Forest Hills Gardens Blog:
http://foresthillsgardensblog.com/
3. Edge of The City: A Forest Hills, NY Blog:
http://edgeofthecityblog.com/

A Big Thanks

October 5, 2010 3 comments

A big thank you to Michael Perlman who was our special guest tonight in our first live chat. The discussion covered everything from the future of the Tennis Stadium to how Michael became involved in preservation efforts, to even what to do about the local Farmer’s Market.

If you missed the chat, we are planning to have Michael back sometime after this Thursday’s Tennis Stadium vote, so stay tuned.

Live Chat Now Underway

October 5, 2010 Leave a comment

Please join us now in the Edge of the City Chat Room for a  Q&A discussion with Michael Perlman, chair of the Rego-Forest Preservation Council.

Michael is a local preservationist and activist who has led the battle to save the Forest Hills Tennis Stadium from demolition. He has also been very active since the tornado documenting the storm’s terrible destruction in our neighborhood and calling attention to it.

You can access the chat room by clicking on this link: Edge of the City Chat Room

Join Us For A Live Chat Tonight at 8

October 5, 2010 Leave a comment

I have just confirmed that Michael Perlman, chair of the Rego-Forest Preservation Council, will be joining us in the Edge of the City Chat Room tonight at 8 p.m., where he will take your questions.

Michael is a local preservationist and activist who has led the battle to save the Forest Hills Tennis Stadium from demolition. He has also been very active since the tornado documenting the storm’s terrible destruction in our neighborhood and calling attention to it.

You can access the chat room by clicking on this link: Edge of the City Chat Room

Or via the link on the right hand side of this page.

If you have a question for Michael that you’d like to submit beforehand, feel free to post it in the comments for this post, or email it to me at drakefohinyc@gmail.com

See you tonight!

Stadium Vote Postponed

September 22, 2010 Leave a comment

Wow, a lot of stuff to report on today. Michael Perlman, over at the Rego-Forest Preservation Council website, is reporting that the all-important West Side Tennis Club vote on the future of the Tennis Stadium has been postponed due to the tornado until Oct. 7th. Read more about it here: Forest Hills Tennis Stadium Becomes Shelter During Tornado & WSTC Voting Day Postponed.

More on the Stadium…

September 16, 2010 Leave a comment

In case you missed this article from The Wall Street Journal a couple of days ago. It delves a bit into the debate going on amongst members of the West Side Tennis Club on the merits of the Cord Meyer deal to turn the stadium into condos…   No Love Match at Club Over Stadium’s Fate

Efforts to Save Historic Forest Hills Stadium Continuing

September 15, 2010 1 comment

With about a week away before the vote on the future of the Tennis Stadium (it is scheduled for Sept. 23rd), I am reprinting the latest letter from Michael Perlman, chairman of the Rego-Forest Preservation Council, to Robert B. Tierney, Chair of the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission:

Dear Chairman Tierney, Ms. Betts, & LPC Staff,

I am writing on behalf of Rego-Forest Preservation Council, and also in response to a coalition of organizational and individual supporters nationally, who feel strongly that the historic Forest Hills Tennis Stadium and Clubhouse of the West Side Tennis Club complex should be calendared for a public hearing ASAP, and ultimately landmarked for current and future generations to cherish.

I spoke with Jennifer Fernandez last week, who explained that the Landmarks Preservation Commission needs to conduct some additional research, prior to making a decision of calendaring the iconic complex. I then explained, that in response to my 50-page documentation complementing my 7/23/10 RFE form, as Chair of Rego-Forest Preservation Council, we would be happy to provide any additional research at the request of the LPC, as well as provide research we voluntarily come across.

As promised, I am sending an updated compilation of photos uploaded to our flickr photoset for the LPC’s assessment, as well as our flickr gallery featuring a skillful photographer who also requests the icon’s preservation. They contain recent photos of the facade from the streetscape, facade and grandstands from the field, views from the top of the grandstands, and photos of the Clubhouse. In addition, they contain historic photos and postcards of the Stadium, the Clubhouse, and a plethora of other tennis and music-related memorabilia. Please refer to the following 3 links:

Rego-Forest Preservation Council Photoset featuring Stadium, Clubhouse, Memorabilia –
http://www.flickr.com/photos/8095451@N08/sets/72157607136282297/

Iconic Forest Hills Tennis Stadium: Gallery 1 featuring Joe Shlabotnik/Peter Dutton’s photos –
http://www.flickr.com/photos/8095451@N08/galleries/72157624960334088

Iconic Forest Hills Tennis Stadium: Gallery 2 featuring Joe Shlabotnik/Peter Dutton’s photos –
http://www.flickr.com/photos/8095451@N08/galleries/72157624960580042/

The above communicates measures of its international history that Forest Hills and our city is so fortunate to have, and also illustrates an architectural first by a famed architect, Kenneth Murchison (Forest Hills Tennis Stadium), and another famed architect, Grosvenor Atterbury (Clubhouse). If you decide to feature any of these photos in a press release or a report, please let us know, and grant credit to the appropriate parties. Thank you for your consideration!

Sincerely,

Michael Perlman

Rego-Forest Preservation Council, Chair (Rego Park & Forest Hills)

http://regoforestpreservation.blogspot.com/

Four Borough Preservation Alliance Corp, Queens VP

Queens Preservation Council, Bd. of Dir.

Central Queens Historical Association, Bd. of Dir.

Friends of The Ridgewood Theatre, Chair

Friends of The RKO Keith’s Flushing Theatre, Member

Committee To Save The Forum Diner/Cheyenne Diner/Moondance Diner, Chair

unlockthevault@hotmail.com

New Poll: The Tennis Stadium’s Future

September 4, 2010 1 comment

Mayor Bloomberg on the Tennis Stadium

September 1, 2010 Leave a comment
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg opening ...

Image via Wikipedia

In case you weren’t aware of it, Mayor Bloomberg paid Forest Hills a visit yesterday at a town hall meeting, sponsored by the Forest Hills Civic Association.

Michael Perlman, chairman of the Rego-Forest Preservation Council, writes about the meeting on his blog:

In response to preservationists’ public statements, the Mayor said he will have Chairman Robert Tierney of the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission give the speakers a phone call. Mayor Bloomberg would not say whether he supported its preservation and reuse, but promised he will start a dialogue with USTA President Lucy Garvin.

Here is a link to Mr. Perlman’s more detailed account of the meeting:

Forest Hills Tennis Stadium Advocates Speak: Mayor Bloomberg To Call USTA & Landmarks Preservation Commission

If you are just joining this story, a quick update: The members of The West Side Tennis Club, the group which owns the famous Stadium, are set to vote on Sept. 23rd whether to sell Forest Hill’s most well-known landmark to local developer Cord Meyer, which wants to destroy it to make way for condos.

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